What’s the Best State for Turkey Hunting?

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Hunting for turkeys can be a challenge. With their keen eyesight and general quietness, you’ll be lucky to get your hands on one of these birds in general. Not to mention, you’ll have to be on the lookout for predators while trying to track down and hunt a turkey, which can be a challenge in itself as safety is of utmost priority.

How can you increase the odds of you catching a turkey, you might wonder? One of the best things you can do is to hunt in the right location. This way, you can boost your chances while saving yourself time, energy, and sanity in the process. Below are the best turkey-hunting states to consider.

1.South Dakota

There are numerous turkey hunting grounds throughout South Dakota. In the west, you’ll find 2.3 million acres of turkey hunting-friendly land known as the Black Hills. We recommend hiking at least a mile out from the road for best results in this area. You’ll also want to hunt in the prairies and grasslands of South Dakota for these feathered friends.

2. Wyoming

Wyoming is full of Merriam’s wild turkey, which originally came to the state from New Mexico. The best public land to hunt for turkeys in Wyoming would be in the Black Hills. You can also find public hunting lands in parts of the Medicine Bow National Forest, particularly between Wheatland and Casper.

3. Montana

Like Wyoming, Montana is another state dotted with many Merriam’s wild turkeys. Popular areas in the state for Turkey-hunting include the Ashland and Long Pines regions of the Cluster National Forest. The Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge as well as parts of Fergus County are also hot spots for hunting turkeys.

4. Missouri

Missouri turkey hunting is generally best around the Platte River, like at Goose Creek Farms. Gateway River Outfitters is another hot spot as the kill ratio for hunters is usually one bird, at a 90% success rate. With over 2,000 acres and the largest eastern wild turkey population in the country, Heggemeier Kennels & Game Farm is another recommended option in Missouri.

5. New Mexico

If you’re particularly interested in catching Merriam’s wild turkey, you’ll want to go hunting in New Mexico. Apart from Merriam’s, there are also plenty of Gould’s, Rio Grande, and hybrid turkeys that roam in this state.

New Mexico mountain ranges are famous for housing Merriam’s. As for Rio Grande turkeys, you’ll want to hunt along the Canadian River Basin – north of Tucumcari, or the Rio Grande River – south of Albuquerque. Gould’s are common in southern Hidalgo County.


It’s true that hunting for turkeys can be difficult. The good news is, when you’re in the right location, you can ensure a stronger chance of catching one. South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Missouri, and New Mexico are by far the best states to go turkey hunting. Not only will you find large populations of turkeys, but you’ll also have one of the best hunting experiences here.

Just A Guy Thing is a men's lifestyle magazine focused primarily at guys wanting to better themselves.

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